Ceramics and bronze technique | Rosita Sikking Reeberg

Sculpture in raw clay

Ceramics

All ceramic objects are unique.
They are made from stoneware clay.
This clay is heated with temperatures starting from 1200 degrees Celsius and up.
Stoneware is more solid durable than earthenware.
For my work I use a kind of clay which is suitable for both wheel-made work (on the electric potter's wheel), and for very delicate or even very big modelling-work.
With this clay I can combine these techniques without any extra difficulties due to differences in shrinkage. (Clay will shrink about 8 to 10% during the drying and heating process).
This clay contains 25 % of fine chamotte (which is fine refractory clay of 0.5mm.), ensuring that parts of clay can be cut out neatly without losing its firmness as a whole.

Ceramic oven

After careful drying the work is heated up to 1060 degrees Celsius,  (this first fire is called the biscuit fire).
The heating is increased gradually and this process takes 14 hours on average.
After the oven has cooled down completely, the object will be sprayed with stoneware glazes (possibly after they have been treated with oxides).
The glaze frit after having been mixed with water, is put on by means of a spray gun with compressor.
The object is heated for the second time during which the glaze frit melts down to a thin layer of glass.
Once more the heating is increased gradually in an accurately computer-controlled ceramic oven.
Any possible crystals and semi-precious stones are fastened to the ceramic object at the end of the entire process.

Bronze

Bronze casting

For a bronze work of art I start with an original in clay.
In the bronze foundry Ateliers MTW (Museum-Technical Works, Groningen, the Netherlands) a rubber mould is made of the original.
This mould is used to make wax models, and these, in their turn, serve as moulds for plaster.
Eventually the bronze is poured into this last mould.
The bronze is also finished in the foundry and patinated according to my instructions.